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Neighborhood garden improves well-being and safety

Property owner Kungsleden AB holds an undeveloped plot of land in the Sofielund area of Malmö. An area until recently considered unsafe by residents and by those working there. While waiting for the plot to be developed, residents decided to look at how the space could be used temporarily to improve the health and well-being of people living and working in the area.

Through a cross-sector partnership involving Kungsleden, the property owner association BID Sofielund, the City of Malmö and the Växtvärket gardening NGO, the space was converted into a temporary green meeting point and an outdoor classroom. The space, and its activities, were designed in close collaboration with residents and workers in Sofielund, as well as with schools, pre-schools and associations in the locality. The result was the Naturmolnet Neighborhood Garden, which opened in September 2020.

Social interaction in a natural setting

Naturmolnet is an example of an urban space being given a temporary green use, with planting activities and social interaction in a natural setting helping to bring about greater well-being in the locality. Växtvärket provided a well-established contact network as well as engagement methods to help secure the involvement of schools, associations and neighbors in designing, activating and running the garden.

The neighborhood garden acts as a meeting place and a “classroom out in the city”. During the ongoing pandemic, this opportunity to meet and play outdoors has been a valuable contribution to teaching and well-being in Sofielund.

New learning opportunities for property owners

External funding and projects may be necessary to kick start this type of partnership. The Naturmolnet Garden is part of the Trevnaden Testbed Neighborhood initiative within the Case Sofielund 2030 project. The project is running between 2019 and 2022, with funding from the European Regional Development Fund through the Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth.

The pilot initiative has contributed to new learning and a greater interest amongst property owners in the temporary use of spaces and premises, bringing environmental, financial, and social benefits.


Links to the SDGs

Primarily Goals 11, 12 and 17. Also contributes to Goals 3, 4, 6, 10, 13, 15 and 16.



Elin Hasselberg, Environmental Department, City of Malmö


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